This has been on my mind a lot recently. Well, fine, not recently, unless you call the last… month recently.
I HAVE IDEAS (SOMETIMES) FOR BLOG POSTS. But the thing is, sometimes I’m too nervous to write them.
Why? Because the idea of my blog post is sometimes somewhat similar to other people’s blog posts that I have read. Basically, I think of the idea, and I start writing the blog post in my head*… and then I remember that someone else has written a blog post somewhat similar to my idea.
And I find myself getting annoyed… at MYSELF. Because #no. That is not WHY I thought of the blog post idea, and it had nothing whatsoever to do with the making of my idea, so why should I feel guilty?
Yet I do.
So I’m going to write a blog post about this to convince YOU**, (if you are a blogger human) that you shouldn’t feel guilty if you have a similar idea to someone else!
*If only I could write blog posts on the computer as fast as I write them in my mind.
**And also myself. See? MULTITASKING.
When SHOULDN’T you feel guilty about your blog post?
When Your Idea is Remotely Similar to Theirs
Like, for example, once my very good blogger friend wrote a post on fantasy vs. contemporary.
But I was thinking about writing and the genres that you should write in. And I had a post idea! I wanted to talk about writing fantasy vs. writing contemporary* and the elements that you have to think about. (I still haven’t written this blog post, by the way. Do not steal it, please.)
I’m not stealing her idea. The reason I had the idea was BECAUSE of a train of thought that I had while thinking about writing preparation and things similar to that.
HOWEVER, I will probably either a) reference her blog post or b) change the genres so that they aren’t so similar.
*EDIT: I just found out from my friend that someone else I know already wrote this post… so…. *laughs awkwardly* I’ll probably wait a month or so, since my ideas are pretty different from her post.
When your idea is in the “general idea” section.
For example, if you wanted to do a post recommending books to another person, THAT’S OKAY. MANY PEOPLE do that.
SOME TOPICS IN THE “GENERAL IDEAS” SECTION
- ARCS. There are SO MANY posts talking about ARCS and giving advice and other things like that.
- “Book recommendations.” Everyone does these, okay?
- “Favorite books” A lot of people also do these!
- How To Think of Ideas. I’m pretty sure a lot of people have done these. I haven’t really read that many because I’m JUST that creative.*
- Tips For Bloggers. Bloggers are ALWAYS looking for tips, so there are a LOT of posts giving bloggers tips.
- I really can’t think of any more.
- But you get my point.
So, if I wrote a post about tips for bloggers, that is NOT stealing. Because a LOT of people have tips for bloggers, right? Right.
*I’m also oH SO HUMBLE.
When You Have a Unique Point of View on the Subject
Fresh takes on points of view are always welcome on each subject. When you’re not just regurgitating information that you’ve read.
If you’ve read a post on say, ARCs, but you live internationally, of course it’s fine to write a post about it. You don’t even have to live internationally. Everyone’s experience regarding ARCs is different, and you should write about the differences.
Basically, you shouldn’t be regurgitating information on a post that you’ve read. You should be giving a NEW take on it.
Of course, usually it’s best to reference the post that you’ve read in your post. Because you GOT the idea for the post FROM them.
When SHOULD you feel guilty about your blog post?
Not that you should be feeling guilty… but you should know what constitutes as plagiarism and copying and what doesn’t.
When all of these apply to you:
- You got the idea from their blog post.
- You’re regurgitating the same information that their blog post has/
For example, if someone else had a post titled “Ways to Flip Pages” and then YOU decide to write a post on “Ways to Flip Pages,” and have the same information as them… just don’t.
HOWEVER, if you have COMPLETELY different information from that specific post, it’s fine! As long as you reference that you got the post idea from them, everything should be fine.
(And yes, I only had ONE situation for this.)
- If you’ve had the idea for the blog post on your own and SEPERATE from someone else’s post, you do not need to credit them at all.
- If you have the idea for a blog post, and the topic of the post is VERY general, you do not need to credit them.
- If you have the idea from their blog post, but the information is same, it’s usually best to reference their post in your post.
- If you have the idea from their blog post and the information is literally the same, then… don’t write the post and THINK OF NEW INFORMATION*.
It usually comes down to where you got the idea for your blog post.
*Trust me, humans. If moi, with 2 cubic centimeters of creativity, can have ideas, YOU CAN TOO.
Obviously, this isn’t the “rules” of the internet or the blogosphere*… but this is what I constitute as “copying” in my book.
*I AM the dragon/potato queen, but IT’S OKAY. THIS ISN’T A ROYAL DECREE.
Do you agree with me? Do you think that there are other ways to be a “copycat”? Do you like cats that are not of the copying type? DO YOU ACCEPT MY RULE AS DRAGON QUEEN????